Nobody move!


I think I’ve reached some sort of geek or nerd Nirvana. I know that when my housemates come back from their various days, they’re going to look at me blankly and wonder what the hell I’m on about… and in their defense, what the hell am I on about? I’ve just cleared my Inbox for the first time since I can remember… now, before we go getting all hot under the collar, I mean my Inbox folder, not the !_DMZ folder that I created on the 27th of March 2006, to draw a line in the sand and help me to deal with the more immediate, pressing need of putting food on the table and making sure that I had a place to sleep…

Taking care of first things first…
A while ago I started reading all sorts of things to help me to become more productive – my reasoning was that if I could be more productive, then I could do more, and in being able to do more, I could extract another few ounces from life and hey, work harder!!!

But as I’ve grown a little older, a little wiser, and a little crankier, I’ve realised that I don’t actually want to work harder, I want to work smarter…

Hey, when you die, do you think that you’ll wish you worked harder during your life, or that you’d spent more time with your loved ones, or simply done the things that you always wanted to… like go to Nepal, or take photos at the Running of the Bulls (which won’t happen this year ‘cos Walter and I made a pact to go together, and this year he just can’t make it so we’ll have to go next year) or go watch killer whales frolick in Puget sound before they go killing, ‘um, seals…

The Pickle Jar Theory
See, the thing I’ve realised at my advanced age of almost 29, is that there are certain fundamentals that need doing – like eating and sleeping, which have knock-on needs, like working and living somewhere where you can sleep… – which are more important than anything else…

But this is the problem – since SxSWi earlier this year, pretty much everything has been about keeping my head above water, catching up with sleep, doing client work, getting the laptop fixed, spending more time with my Mom than I have in about 10 years, writing code…. all the big pickles in my Jar of Life, which conversely means that I haven’t been able to deal with the little Pickles, many of which were sitting in my Inbox just waiting to be done…

Hence the absolute delight I’m feeling right now…
In the last two days I’ve managed to go from 152 accumulated unanswered emails in my Inbox folder (those are just the ones that I’ve let be since the 27th March 2006), to 0… and this makes me really happy. The really worrying thing however, is that if I get replies to just a small percentage of them, I’m already going to be hitting an email “answer deficit”! ;-)

But the fat lady hasn’t sung yet…
I’ve still got 398 emails in my !_DMZ folder, many of which will be obsolete by now, but nonetheless; and 33 open tabs in Firefox, which are all waiting blog posts of some sort (the sessionsaver and tab mix plus firefox extensions are really handy folks); so there is still work to be done….

But at least when I get to work on Tuesday morning (we’ve got a long weekend here in the UK) there will only be current emails waiting for me, and I won’t have that sinking feeling of unanswered emails nagging at me whenever I open my Inbox…

So, without further ado, I bid you adieu, to crack on with that !_DMZ folder of mine ;-)

iPAQ 4150 data loss when battery discharges


On Saturday I opened up the case enclosing my iPAQ 4150 to have a look at some dates ahead in the calendar, and I got a pretty scary surprise.

It didn’t start. At all.
Nothing – nothing with the power button top-middle of the device, neither the reset button on the side of the device, so I panicked a little – I have quite a lot in that little machine, and I also knew that any restoring of data etc would be a long process.

Anyways – even though the PocketPc was in it’s sturdy little aluminium case the whole night, something must have caused it to discharge, and when it discharges completely, you lose everything.

In a way it’s a good thing, as I can now install a ROM update, a WLAN update and can do a fresh install / update of some of the apps I’ve been using for a while now, including:

Developer One Agenda Fusion
SPB Pocket Plus
Adobe Acrobat Reader for Pocket PC
MSN Messenger
VodaFone Connect Me!

I’m still battling to get the Bluetooth / PDA thing working with my Sony Ericssen K700i and Bluetooth, which is a perhaps blessing in disguise cos if I could get it working, then I’d be using the net connection all the time, and that’s not necessatily a good thing ;-)

So, lessons learnt are:

  1. backup PDA and Outlook regularly, and make sure you backup onto a reliable machine
  2. don’t put your PDA in a situation where it can be discharged without your knowing
  3. keep your licenses for the software you install on your PDA handy
  4. get friendly with your PDA, so that when things do go pear shaped, you know how to get things back up quickly – ie. no 2 hour long support calls

Researching Intellisync VS Activesync for Pocket PC


I’ve been through the mill, so to speak, when it comes to getting everything off my PC, onto my iPAQ so that I have it available all the time and can get things off my head, and then back onto my PC if needed. Added to that, I would really like to be able to get my “stuff” onto my home PC as well so that I have one unified view of everything – “mind like water” to paraphrase David Allen.

So far, the best solution I can find, is to set up partnerships with both desktop machines, and then allow activesyn to sync as normal – the one MAJOR problem I have with this is that it does something to the calendar entries, and from my research this has something to do with the identifiers Outlook uses for each item….

I’ve installed the Intellisync trial, and it seems to do an OK job, but at the moment I’ve not the time to play with both machines to see what I have to do to get Intellisyn to talk to Activesync to talk to Outlook.

This is a good overview of what Intellisync does – the trial version I installed did pretty much what it says it can do.

This forum post seems to have an ambivalent answer, whereas this one seems to put it all together nicely, but leave out nitty gritty.

This is probably something the giant from Redmond should look into if they want to keep their marketshare (I think more and more people have the same needs) [soapbox: acquisition anyone?]

This link looks at the different options available, and if you follow the advice on the page, it leads you to this post, which in turn leads you to the giant from Redmond

Anyone following the white Rabbit?…